The Dancers Company

Rebecca Varidel
29th Aug 2015

Apparently the collective noun for a group of male dancers should be 'a rumble of ballerini'. Even those familiar with the world of classical ballet may not be familiar with that term. Rumble, or the Italian for it, Rimbombo is the title for a one act ballet that was choreographed by Simon Dow, himself a graduate of The Australian Ballet School in 2013 as a new work for the danseurs, the male students in the graduating year of The Australian Ballet school, to sit sandwiched between the one act ballet of Paquita and Swan Lake Act III.

This year, the same triple bill was performed by The Dancers Company for a six week regional Australian tour. The humour and light heartedness of this middle act provided a terrific foil to the more traditional first and third acts but moreover gave the rarer opportunity to showcase the male dancers of the ensemble. (Yes, we saw lots of hot men in tights!)

The regional tour of The Australian Ballet's The Dancers Company is not only a marvellous opportunity for regional areas of New South Wales and Victoria to experience the wonders of classical ballet, but also a tremendous opportunity for the growth of the young dancers. As well as catapulting the careers of dancers from The Australian Ballet School by providing performance experience, the company also provides the opportunity for dancers from The Australian Ballet to grow in guest roles as soloists. On this tour, Brodie James from the Corps de Ballet, and Coryphée Valerie Tereschenko partnered in the leading roles of Paquita and Swan Lake Act III at the end of the tour at The Riverside Theatre Parramatta. What evil eyes. What an Odile. We're guessing we'll be seeing Valerie Tereschenko elevated to a principal and to this role for The Australian Ballet soon enough. Brava!

These opportunities are not new, with The Dancers Company providing opportunities in development for many of our leading Australian dancers since its formation. The Australian Ballet Artistic Director, David McAllister AM remembers his first tour with The Dancers Company. "33 years ago I shared the exciting first professional season with my classmate Steven Heathcote. After this tour in 1982, Steven had a 25 year career with The Australian Ballet, and became one of its most loved and admired dancers. He danced around the globe and gathered a league of fans with his passionate and charismatic performances." Now Ballet Master and Regional Touring Associate, Steven Heathcote led The Dancers Company this year.

Strengths of The Dancers Company performances of 2015 like The Australian Ballet itself, included the beauty of the individual performances of soloists, harmony in partnering in the exciting range of pas de deux (the step of two), and from the corps de ballet, excellence in technique including impressively tight line-work and a keen understand of the use of the stage.

This triple bill by The Dancers Company with intervals between each of the three acts, was a delight to watch at The Riverside Theatre for the last two performances of the tour. The opening number of Paquita was a splendid choice for not only the experienced ballet devotees in the audience but the essentially Russian Imperial romantic style is also as fantastic introduction for those new to the ballet. One of the challenges in creating a three by one act bill is balancing the entertainment of the evening, and the second ballet Rimbombo provided a fun relief before the final act. Even those not familiar with the ballet would be familiar with the music of Tchaikovsky. The last of the three acts, Swan Lake Act III embraced with its music, costuming and staging, the essence of ballet. This spectacular act provides the chance to partake of every aspect of the dance including the elegance of en pointe, the serenity of the arabesque, the excitement of the fouetté rond de jambe en tournant and tour piqué (travelling turns), and even the contrast of character dancing, and was the perfect introduction to ballet for a Parramatta audience often new to the art.

Photos by Jim McFarlane courtesy of The Australian Ballet.

Artists of The Dancers Company 2015

Satoru Agetsuma, Saranja Crowe, Isobelle Dashwood, Evie Ferris, Jackson Fisch, Elise Foster, Sean Kiley, Seu Kim, Kihiro Kusukami, Mason Lovegrove, Anastasia McDonald-Spicer, Alexandra Moore, Guijan Na, Xavier Pellin, Tyson Powell, Alicia Reid, Montana Rubin, Georgia Scott-Hunter, Edward Smith, Miyako Tamamura, Tebe Ward, Aya Watanabe, Yipeng Xu, Yuumi Yamada,

Guest Artists of The Australian Ballet

Benedicte Bemet, Brodie James, Cristiano Martino, Valerie Tereschenko